Vivienne Lewin is a South African born artist living in Hampstead. She completed the City Lit Fine Art course in 2017.
Being near Hampstead Heath, she spends much time walking, sketching, photographing, and generally observing on the Heath, particularly in the woods and glades. She is particularly drawn by visual atmosphere and how the sense of space impinges on the emotional experience of a place. In her paintings she explores how she can use colour in all its tonalities, and mark-making of different kinds, to create an emotional sense of place and mood. She loves to work with oil paints because of their versatility and subtlety, as well as the strength of the pigment they contain.
Her latest paintings focus on pathways.
Paths in the woods offer many possibilities and choices, reflecting the opportunities taken and missed in our lives. They may be inviting or menacing; dark and winding, or wide and sunlit. We traverse them in hope, and take the risk of not reaching our destination. We feel both embraced or threatened by the nature and prospect of the path.
In these new paintings, some very small, others very large, she explores the atmosphere and experiences of walking in the woods along paths known and unknown, quiet and meditative, or mysterious and unsettling. The same path becomes new in an altered light, at a different time, and in a new mood. As with the changing light and seasons, colours change the experience of the paths through the woods and our lives.
She has been inspired not only by her visual experiences of the woods and journeys through them, but also by the words of the poets who write about paths as journeys and experiences of life.
“Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden.”
(T S Eliot: Four Quartets)